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The health and wellness of your employees matter

Author
NMG
Category
Date
20 Jun 2022
3 min read

With mental health awareness becoming more prevalent since the pandemic, employee wellness programmes, commonly referred to as Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP), are the cornerstone to the success of any business.

Employee Assistance Programmes substantially contribute to maintaining a healthy workforce while positively impacting productivity, absenteeism and overall wellbeing.

In 2022, the working environment has changed drastically as many employers adopted a hybrid working model, requiring employees to navigate through what is called “the new way of working”. This could result in many employees being less engaged in their day-to-day job and struggling to find the right balance between home and work life. The rising costs of living equally plays a fundamental role in employees willingness to return to the office, placing additional strain on the productivity levels that organisations seek to drive.

Promoting health and wellness in the workplace

It’s estimated that the average person will spend one-third of their life at work, therefore understanding employee wellness is crucial. The matter of employee wellness is broad in nature and often speaks to the physical health of employees, their emotional and mental wellbeing, as well as their financial and legal stability.

For mental health, it’s important to be content across all aspects of life as this ensures positivity at home and in the workplace. Employees who are holistically happy and healthy are more resilient and are better equipped to handle change.

How wellness programmes make all the difference

Wellness programmes have been proven to improve the health of employees through a change in behavior. These programs help people to adopt and maintain healthier ways of living.

Services offered on wellness programmes:

  • Corporate wellness days
  • Trauma counselling
  • Legal and debt counselling
  • Emotional support counselling
  • People development
  • Life coaching

EAP features many different facets and is a short term, solution-based counselling service conducted either via telephone, face-to-face or virtual.

Some tips to help employees manage stress

  1. Practice mindfulness: Practicing mindfulness for a few minutes everyday can help manage stress and have a positive impact on mental health.
  2. Time management:  While reducing the number of daily emails is difficult, it is easier to make a list of the important tasks for the day and focus on those specific tasks. Studies have found that setting aside certain times of the day to focus on emails allows people to be more productive over the long term.
  3. Cultivate empathy: Cultivating an environment focused on empathy is key to harnessing the power of productivity. Organisational success relies on a compassionate and inclusive culture.

In a national study conducted by Pharma Dynamics, where more than 1 200 South African adults were polled across the country to gain an insight into how South Africans have been impacted by the pandemic:

  • 56% of people indicated that they had higher levels of psychological and emotional distress than before the pandemic
  • 81% turned to unhealthy food
  • 20% turned to alcohol
  • 18% turned to cigarettes
  • 6% turned to smoking Cannabis
  • 22% turned to antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication to help them cope with the stressors of the last few years
  • 49% feel anxious
  • 48% feel frustrated
  • 31% feel depressed
  • 6%, have contemplated suicide.

The time to invest in an EAP needs to be a fundamental, must-have offering in employee benefits propositions.


NMG Employee Benefits (Pty) Ltd is a licenced Financial Services Provider (FSP number 33426 and registration number 2007/025310/07).

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